Other reasons for the dropping rates, according to Russell, is the extreme amount of pain the child undergoes, deaths due to complications and doctors admitting it’s nothing more than cosmetic surgery.
DOC estimates that there are 117 deaths due to complications caused by circumcisions. Last year, there were two publicized cases of child deaths in New York. Jamaal Coleson, was 2 when he was admitted for a routine circumcision, but died 10 hours later due to—according to his family—grave issues from the wrong analgesic. Another case involved a newborn that died after contracting herpes during his orthodox bris. The Jewish ceremony called for the rabbi to use his mouth to suck the blood from the penis after the foreskin was removed.
Fatalities like these add to an anti-circumcision sentiment. In the Philippines, a mass circumcision was held in May 2011, at which an estimated 1,500 boys were operated on in a single day with the hopes of making it into the Guinness World Records. Guinness officials rejected the entry stating that they “do not recognize the number of medical procedures within a set period of time or in a mass group due to hygiene considerations and risks.” Circumcised men are vocal opponents, some comparing the procedure to genital mutilation and using the Internet to spread their message. Anthony Losquadro, executive director of Intaction.org is what the anti-circumcision community calls an “intactivist,” people who advocate for education and giving boys the right to decide for themselves. “The medical community is concerned about the money,” Losquadro says. He tallies the average cost of a baby’s circumcision between $800 and $1,200, while, he says, the detached foreskins are often kept by the hospital and sold for medical research. “Hospitals retain ownership of the tissue and sell it to companies to use in artificial skin grafts and antiwrinkle cosmetics.”
TALLY, 56, HAS been restoring for nearly four years. He employs a method similar to the DTR, but without the use of a device. “Every time I go to the bathroom, I’ll tug for a minute or two,” he explains. “Tugging” is the process of holding the penis at its base and using an upward sliding grip to elongate the skin over the head. “It’s a habit,” he says. While the process he describes sounds like another “habit” lonely men might enjoy, Tally says that it produces results. “Most men that go all the way through with it, their doctor will say they look the same as an uncircumcised man.”
Since launching his site RestoringForeskin.org, Tally has become a vocal intactivist. He can often be found commenting on many mommy blogs about the hazards of infant circumcision. “What we try to do is educate people,” says Tally. “They think if you are circumcised you are cleaner.”